Centre d’innovació i Tecnologia BARCELONATECH

A CONVERTER MORE VERSATILE FOR SMART GRIDS

09/11/2018

CITCEA UPC has developed a 25-kVA power module for converters with silicon carbide technology to manage energy bidirectionally with switching frequencies of up to 30 kHz (currently, equipment reaches 15/20 kHz). 

 

Due to this high frequency, new functionalities and applications can be introduced into the convertor, making it more versatile. It also allows to reduce the size of the equipment. The power control unit is scalable and modular (to take advantage of space) and can therefore be configured in various ways for different types of converter equipment. The greater frequency also leads to better response times, which is why a more complex control system is required such as the presented module.

Silicon carbide technology (SiC) could double the response speed of the device control and the modularity/scalability means that it can be installed in all converter configurations.

 

The role of converters in smart networks

The emergence of renewable energies and the development of ICT make it possible to modify energy flows in the network and the role of agents. Energy generators can now be receptors and vice versa. In addition to consuming energy, users can produce it. This gives rise to a new kind of agent in the system called a “prosumer” (a dwelling with solar panels on the roof and an electric car/battery); a charging electric car can either receive or provide energy for the network. Solar panels can charge a car or other battery, and even provide energy directly for the home. The flow of energy in this kind of applications must therefore be two-way. Converters facilitate the transfer of energy one way or the other and they adapt, alone or in combination with other applications, to the needs of each moment (depending on time bands, peaks in demand, etc.) to provide an immediate and efficient response.

 Convertors can transform electrical energy from direct current to alternating current, alternating current to direct current, direct current to direct current, or alternating current to alternating current. They facilitate the exchange of energy from one network to another, to ensure a constant supply, and they help to manage in an optimized, rational way the generation, storage, sale, and commercialization of energy from various sources with the help of information and communication technologies.

 

More information: Jordi Martín
Senior Industrial Liaison Officer
Phone: 93.4054690
Email: info.cit@upc.edu